Translator: Atla.s.studios Editor: Atla.s.studios
“Hmm…” The golden sun rays shone on Marlene\'s face. “Where am I…”
Marlene mumbled as she pulled herself up slowly. The previous night felt like a chaotic and wild dream that she couldn\'t even differentiate reality from hallucination. However, she felt a familiar sense of satisfaction and fatigue every time after she had done it with Rhode. It was only during moments like last night that Marlene felt that her body was in total relaxation. She could leave Rhode in the driver\'s seat and as long as she was with him, she didn\'t need to worry about anything in the world.
Marlene shook her head with all her might to throw the perverted scenes to the back of her head. Yes, it must be a dream because why would I even enjoy this? That\'s right, it definitely was a dream—Rhode wouldn\'t do such a thing!
She repeated several times in her head and after consoling her anxious spirit, Marlene lifted her chin to scan the room before her. This was undoubtedly Rhode\'s room and the blazing sun was s.h.i.+ning on the faraway green forest through the floor-to-ceiling window.
Oh lord, there wouldn\'t be any sunlight in the Land of Atonement unless it was around 12 pm to 5 pm. Did I sleep in until the afternoon? What should I do? Oh no, I still have so much work to do!
Marlene jumped out of bed and grabbed her robe on the chair and put it on frantically. Rhode hadn\'t been back for a long time and now that she had the chance to be on intimate terms with him, she had accidentally overstepped the line. What if the others found out? Although Rhode didn\'t seem to mind letting others know, Marlene wished that this could be kept a secret.
Especially after considering Lize\'s feelings.
As childhood friends, Marlene definitely understood Lize\'s thoughts. However, she could no longer chat with Lize regarding this topic anymore. Fortunately, Lize was more on the innocent side and didn\'t suspect anything fishy. But there were no excuses for her to wake up this late and furthermore, in Rhode\'s room.
After all, Lize was innocent and not dumb.
Oh no, what should I say…
Marlene arranged her hair meticulously, at the same time, she considered this question thoughtfully. But she couldn\'t find an appropriate answer. Then, at this moment, a very familiar voice sounded behind her. “Marlene, you don\'t have to be this worried. You\'re no longer a primary school student who needs to go for your morning exercise, right?”
“Eh?” Marlene turned around to find Rhode leaning back on the chair leisurely, looking through the report that she had handed to him the previous night. Marlene blushed and stopped combing her hair as she let out an awkward cough. “Rhode, when were you here?”
“I\'ve always been here; it\'s just that you didn\'t realize,” Rhode teased in response.
This was the first time he had seen Marlene this panicky, which was a fresh experience. Got to say, this steady, mature young lady\'s childish side seemed really adorable. However, Rhode had no intentions of teasing her too much on this topic, because, after all, a female\'s grooming was a very private matter. Even though a beautiful young lady like Marlene usually put on only light makeup, Rhode didn\'t want to intrude on her privacy as a man. “If you\'re worried that you\'ll be late, you can relax now because I have told Agatha that you will be sleeping in today. I\'m sure Lize is also aware of this so don\'t worry.”
“Agatha?” Marlene knitted her brows after hearing this strange name. After a few moments, she finally recalled that this was the name of the Ocean Elf that Rhode had summoned. “They\'re starting work so soon?”
“That\'s right, and they\'re highly efficient. I recommend that you see it for yourself… From today onwards, Lize will be free from the troublesome ch.o.r.es and the internal patrol and cleaning of the Fortress and the responsibility to wake the mercenaries up will be handed over to Agatha and her companions. Got to say, these Ocean Elves are indeed talented in this aspect,” explained Rhode detailedly.
“Lize…” Marlene was somehow fl.u.s.tered as soon as she heard Lize\'s name. “What is Lize doing now?”
“She\'s visiting the church today for cleric training. I have decided to a.s.sign her a team of Clerics to provide support and healing treatment on the battlefield… But they must pa.s.s Bubble\'s test first,” explained Rhode.
“Alright, I got it,” Marlene heaved a sigh of relief.
Although this couldn\'t be considered as her guilty conscious, Marlene felt awkward if she needed to meet Lize first thing after getting out of Rhode\'s bed.
She tidied her hair and robe before gazing towards Rhode once more. “Alright then, Rhode. I will be returning to my room for a shower and change of clothes. Also, about last night… erm…”
“Hmm? What about last night?” Rhode asked as he twitched his brows.
“N-No, nothing,” Marlene stopped this topic abruptly as she wasn\'t that dumb to dig her own grave. She left the room after nodding towards Rhode slightly and let out a sigh of relief until she stood by the corridor behind the door. Then, she turned her gaze to Rhode\'s room with complicated feelings before shaking her head and returning to her room.
“Interesting,” Rhode shrugged his shoulders and placed the report on the table.
He focused his attention on the back of his palm and soon, a complex, magnificent summoning ritual circle emerged. However, unlike those in the past, this summoning ritual circle had a few more strange, evil patterns.
That was the perfect talent symbol for the h.e.l.l Lord—Reaper Song.
This was the result of his leisure time in the morning after spending a wonderful night with Marlene. Although Rhode didn\'t receive the EXP from defeating the Lich (because the EXP was all taken by Gillian), the EXP from the Castel Plateau Ruins Mission reward was still granted to him. After receiving the phylactery and completing this 5 Star Mission, Rhode received an abundance of EXP that increased his level by three. At this moment, Rhode had reached level 33 and received six skill points.
Rhode intended to observe further before deciding if he should improve his swordsmans.h.i.+p or talent. However, after speaking to Lapis, he decided to pump all his six of his newly gained skill points and the one remaining skill point from before into the First Stage—[Deceased Essence] and Second stage—[Reaper Song] in the h.e.l.l Lord Talent Tree.
The h.e.l.l Lord Talent Tree was originally defined for players in solo battles. Therefore, the attack and defense attributes were well balanced and filled with self-sufficiency talents. The [Deceased Essence] and [Reaper Song] were similar to the [Soul Territory].
[Deceased Essence: Spiritual Energy Extraction Rate increase by 10%, 20%, 30%. A robust spirit stays in the robust body.]
[Reaper Song: Extractable amount increases by 10%, 15%, 20%. The voice leads the way to where the spirit belongs.]
These two talents were essential in the h.e.l.l Lord Talent Tree. The [Deceased Essence] could increase the chances of extracting the spiritual energy from the creatures that the holder had annihilated, whereas the [Reaper Song] could increase the amount of spirit extracted. From the early to mid stages of the game, this h.e.l.l Lord Talent Tree was once a popular subcla.s.s choice for the Spirit Swordsman players. After all, these players had incomparably valiant creatures in their possessions and this subcla.s.s talent could be said to be one that was capable of summoning the most creatures in the entire Dragon Soul Continent. During this period, many players choose to build this Talent Tree to summon their spirits to swarm their enemies all at once.
However, the flaw of the h.e.l.l Lord Talent Tree was also fairly obvious: he summoned spirits only had one type of attribute. Furthermore, individual spirits summoned under this h.e.l.l Lord Talent Tree were weaker as compared to the spirits summoned under the Soul Messenger and Summoning Master Talent Trees. Moreover, the h.e.l.l Lord Talent Tree was also limited and incapable of buffing the players. As a result, this Talent Tree fell into a downward spiral in the later stages of the game.
Initially, Rhode had no intention of working on this Talent Tree. However, his discussion with Lapis regarding the Soul Cores changed his mind. According to Lapis, the Soul Cores that the Stone Constructs required needn\'t be too powerful. Meanwhile, even though the h.e.l.l Lord Talent Tree could create several Soul Cores, the powers in the Soul Cores wouldn\'t be sufficient. But since Rhode was using the Soul Cores directly and not to awakening them as spirits, the powers of the Soul Cores were in the acceptable range.
And through the Deceased Essence and Reaper Song talents, Rhode could extract and receive a ma.s.sive amount of spiritual energy in a short period of time. The spiritual energy extracted could then be converted into the Soul Cores that would activate the Stone Constructs which concealed the undead attribute at the same time… This could be said to kill two birds with one stone.
So then, the next problem for Rhode was…
Where should he go to produce the Soul Cores?9631